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10-20-2006, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Mike8 View Post
Yes. You vastly underestimate Ryder's presence through his tenacity, forechecking, opportunism and penchant for finding the open spaces to let go of his shot (and get a second chance off the rebound).

You can say that Higgins does most, if not all of this as well. However Ryder's got more of a tenacious urgency to his game, compared to a more methodical, patient (mature?) Higgins (and Koivu) approach. Ryder's more explosive.

As far as your proposal goes: I don't think it's a good move. The top line is working great; exceeding all of our wildest dreams. I think, given that fact, we can come to the logical conclusion that the three players are perhaps playing above themselves. There are three reasons for players playing above themselves: a) they're really just that good, and were underestimated before; b) the sum is greater than the individual parts; c) they're on a hot streak.

The most logical answer in figuring out why the line is working so well is a mixture of all three aforementioned factors.

Because of that: the line should not be broken up until the hot streak ends (if it's a hot streak at all).

Now, I also believe Carbonneau's decided on another solution to this problem: swap Perezhogin and Samsonov. Let's see how that goes before proposing any other switch(es).
Mr. 8 or shall I call you Mike. I agree with your analysis. Ryder and Higgins both have different games. Yes, they both have the ability to score, but in different ways. Higgins is more likely to score off the rush while Ryder is more likely to find a spot and wait for the pass to one-time his shot into the net. Ryder is simply looking to put the puck on net as soon as he get's it, hence supporting the "explosiveness" theory of yours. This is what makes that line work as Koivu is clearly responsible for carrying the puck while Higgins and Ryder feed off of him in different ways. They each have their roles on that line and play them to a tee. That's where our number two line goes wrong. I believe it is unclear to them as to what their roles are on that line as they all like to carry the puck. Samsonov and Kovy both hang on to the puck too long which creates turnovers since they aren't looking to pass. Plekanec is confused by this which makes him question why he is a center if his wingers are doing that job. You just can't have a center and 2 wingers who are trying to be centers on the same line. If Kovy and Sammy accepted the fact that Plekanec is responsible for carrying the puck and understand that they have to simply give him puck support in the offensive zone then it would work.

Oh, and I believe the answer regarding the success of that line is b) the sum is greater than the individual parts.

Koivu had a similar chemistry in 1996 or 97 I believe when he played on a line with Recchi and Savage. They were, actually, the most productive line in the league for the first two months of the season until injuries to Savage and then Koivu put an end to it. Koivu actually eluded to that scenario when asked about his chemistry with Higgins and Ryder.

Last edited by LesHabsRock: 10-20-2006 at 07:57 PM.
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